I turned 63 in 2017 and decided I needed to seek optimal health as a senior. My cousin and her husband had often recommended a whole health doctor to me, so I made an appointment for mid-July, which was several months away, a longer wait than I preferred. Well, I thought, God sets the times of all things.
In April, I received my leader’s guide for a fall women’s Bible study on Jonah called Navigating a Life Interrupted. Immediately I prayed, “Oh Lord, you are fixin’ to interrupt my life!” And He was.
In early May I woke up in the middle of the night with a feeling someone had jabbed my right breast. My heart was beating wildly in my throat. Who touched me? Is someone in my house?
After determining I was alone, I went to the bathroom to examine the area that felt jabbed and saw a red spot and some indentations. I knew we all get cellulite as we get older, but I sure didn’t expect it on my boobs!
As it turns out, the following week I already had a mammogram scheduled.
When I filled out the paperwork before my appointment, I expressed my concern about the indentation on my right breast. When I turned in the paperwork, I discovered my annual mammogram wasn’t actually coming due until fall, but because I had indicated a concern, I would be scheduled for a diagnostic checkup. In a matter of days, the diagnostic mammogram indicated probable cancer.
Immediately my gynecologist made an appointment with a surgeon for a biopsy.
During the examination, the surgeon said, “Sherry, I am amazed you were able to find this tumor! How did you ever find it? It is so small.”
I could only point to God, telling the doctor and nurse about the Life Interrupted Bible study, the jab in the middle of the night and the incorrectly scheduled mammogram.
The biopsy confirmed cancer, and I was scheduled for surgery. Things were happening so fast that it was rather hard to keep up.
On June 1, my surgery date, I woke up and showered at 3:30 am. Before I left for the hospital, I had time to spend with the Lord. I needed every ounce of courage I could muster, and God had special words of comfort waiting for me from my devotional Streams in the Desert.
“Why do you worry?” asked the devotional for June 1.
“Lord, what kind of question is this?” I prayed. “Of course I am worried, but I am trying to put my trust in you!”
Next the devotional asked, “What possible use does your worrying serve? You are aboard such a large ship … you worry as if you were the captain or helmsman of the vessel. Be quiet, dear soul. God is the Master!”
“Yes, Lord,” I agreed. “And this is not a ship I want to be on! I need your peace more than ever. Plus, I am scared to death about hospitals; I want to faint just getting a shot! How am I ever going to get through this surgery?”
The devotional included a poem with the refrain, “Tonight, my soul, be still and sleep,” reminding me to quiet my soul and rest in God’s work and wisdom.
I put myself in God’s hands, and the surgery was successful. God was showing Himself a very competent captain!
In July, I kept my appointment with the whole health doctor which I had scheduled many months prior. I explained to the doctor that initially I had made an appointment to discuss healthy living as a senior, but then I had been interrupted by breast cancer. Since radiation would follow my recovery from surgery, the doctor wanted to prepare my body with a detox, including a strict diet and supplements to strengthen me for the 21-day radiation regimen coming up in September.
When I got home from Houston, I put the 90-day strict detox diet on the refrigerator and told the Lord, “Ninety days, Lord…I can probably do only one!”
Immediately, I sensed the Holy Spirit saying we had a lot of work to do on my self-control. And one day at a time, God strengthened me with the self-control which is a fruit of His Spirit.
In September it was time for radiation. A sweet Christian friend drove me back and forth for all those 21 days. I had done the best I could to prepare my body for radiation, and God blessed me with only mild side effects.
Yes, life had definitely been interrupted! My Bible study—Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted—was timely indeed, and the ladies in my group asked many times how I was feeling, since our Bible study was timed so closely with my treatments.
I could honestly answer, “Amazingly superb!”
Through my life—whether interrupted or just-as-planned—I cling to my favorite Bible passage, Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”